An Auckland man who fell victim to a pot thief has had the last laugh.

On Monday morning St Johns resident Jonathan Ackerman was on his phone when his security system alerted him to strange behaviour outside his front door.

When he logged on to view the tape, he was confronted with the truly bizarre footage.

"I played back the video and saw this guy had just casually walked up to my front door then picked up my pot plant and made off with it," he told the Herald.

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"I phoned my wife who was home at the time and she ran downstairs to try to catch the guy but he had run off before she got there. It was totally insane.

"It's amazing how people feel they can blatantly get away with walking up and taking something. What annoys is his body language: he was so casual about it.

"He's like 'this is easy, I'm just going to walk up and take it', which is astounding. He's sneaky but doesn't look like your ideal criminal."

A man was caught on home security walking into a St John's resident's property and taking a pot plant from the front door. Photo / Jonathan Ackerman
A man was caught on home security walking into a St John's resident's property and taking a pot plant from the front door. Photo / Jonathan Ackerman

The thief had parked outside Ackerman's property in what is believed to be a silver Toyota Raum before walking up to the front door, stealing the pot plant and driving off.

However, Ackerman had the last laugh, revealing the plant is entirely fake and carries little to no resale value.

"It was totally a fake plastic plant.

"Because it's in an area that doesn't get any rain nothing would survive there so if he was thinking of repotting it and selling it then the joke is on him because it's plastic.

"But either way It's annoying. The pot plant itself is of low value but what annoys me is someone thinks they can come onto your property and get away with it."

The alleged thief then quickly drove off with the pot plant while Ackerman's wife was inside. Photo / Jonathan Ackerman
The alleged thief then quickly drove off with the pot plant while Ackerman's wife was inside. Photo / Jonathan Ackerman

Since posting to Facebook, Ackerman has been flooded with comments suggesting that the theft of pots and plants is highly common.

Ackerman told the Herald he's received messages from people saying their pot plants had also gone missing, including some whose plants were dug up in the middle of the night.

Commenters claimed it was common for thieves to steal plants for repotting and selling on at markets and local community events.

"It's become so common that people are having to use heavy concrete pots or weighing things down with concrete to stop people stealing plants, it's astounding," Ackerman said.

A Tauranga resident's vegetable garden was raided and stripped twice in a week in 2012.

His entire harvest of silverbeet, red cabbages and brocco-flowers were ripped out and stolen along with a range of other ripe vegetables.

And in 2015 a Mt Eden woman's backyard lemon tree was stripped bare of all lemons leaving her with nothing but leaves.

Police have been told of the Ackerman's pot plant theft and are keen to hear from anyone who may have any leads.